Climate Change Indicators Impacts on Environment, Sustainable Tourism, Water, And Renewable Energy In Arab Countries, January 2009

Organized By LebaJica: 23rd to 25th January 2009
Safir Heliopolitan Hotel - Beirut - Lebanon
An estimated 300 million people in the southeastern Mediterranean region are expected to bear the brunt of the severe water shortage resulting from global warming in the 70 years ahead, Lebanese and foreign experts predicted here on Friday. Speakers at a workshop organized by the Alumni association of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Lebanon (Leba-JICA), were unanimous on the grave challenges posed by global warming to the Arab region.
The workshop, themed "indicators of climate change - impacts on sustainable environment and tourism water and alternative energies in the Arab countries," was co-sponsored by Lebanon's Minister of Energy and Water Alain Tabourian, Minister of Tourism Elie Marouni, and Minister of Environment. Toni Karam.
"Climate change will exacerbate the water shortage in the southeastern Mediterranean region particularly Lebanon which suffers from lack of drinking and irrigation water," Director General of Hydraulic and Electrical Resources in the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water Dr. Fadi Georges Comair said. "The problem will affect some 300 million people in the region by 2070. It will impair the food security and the social security of the countries in the region," he warned. "The concerned countries have to develop ten-year development plans to tackle the problem of water shortage which put stains on their economies," Comair suggested. "The phenomenon of global warming resulting from greenhouse emissions must be checked through concerted efforts on both local and global levels.”The efforts have to focus reducing the carbon dioxide emissions and the improvement of facilities of water conservancy, such as dams and artificial lakes," he stressed. The agricultural sector, as the main consumer of water, is in need of unconventional approaches to irrigation. It absorbs a rate ranging between 60 and 80 percent of the water resources in the region, Comair noted. For her part, Director General of the ministry of Tourism Nada Al-Serdok said the sustainable development of tourism depends on the duo of land and man or the natural and human resources. "The year 2009 will be a promising one for the tourist sector in Lebanon," she predicts.
Meanwhile, Leba-JICA chief Antoine Ghrayeb said global warming poses the most serious existential risk to Earth and mankind. "While natural disasters such as volcanoes, earthquakes and floods have local consequences to environment, global warming has global impacts," he noted.
Representative of Japan Ambassador to Lebanon Hasunuma san , Second Secretary at the Embassy, warned against the risks of climate change on food production and briefed the workshop on the experience of his country in tackling the problem.
The Japanese government, in cooperation with the private sector, managed to increase the efficacy of energy by 36 percent and cut its consumption of oil by 8 percent in the last three decades, he revealed. Leba-JICA is one of JICA's alumni associations in countries where many nationals participated to training courses in Japan through JICA.

Day 1: 23/1/09 Topics covered:
Session I- Impact of Climate Change in Arab countries: Chaired by Dr. Berj Hatjian – Director General - Ministry of Environment
1. Impacts of Climate Change in Lebanon: Mr. Youssef Naddaf, Ministry of Environment focal point
2. Impact on Water Resources in the MENA Region: Dr. Hamed Assaf
3. Impacts of Climate Change on Ecotourism: Mr. Pascal Abdallah
4. مؤشرات تغير المناخ البيئى فى مصر: الدكتور طارق مصطفى السكرى محمد، أستاذ مساعد بالمركز القومى لبحوث الإسكان والبناء
5. Impact of Climate Change in Syria: Ms. Fatima Haj Moussa, General Commission for Environment Affairs
6. التغير المناخي اسبابه و أثاره: م. محمد العبادي، الأردن
7. التغيرات المناخية في الاردن وتاثيرها على القطاع الزراعي : م.عبير البلاونة

Session II- The potential role of the renewable energy in climate change mitigation in Arab countries: Chaired by Dr. Fred G. Boustany, (President & CEO, BUMC, TOYOTA , LEXUS), Toyota PRIUS presentation
8. The Renewable Energy Potential in Lebanon: Hussein Salloum, UNDP-Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation, Engineering Coordinator
9. State and Perspectives of the Renewable Energy Sources in Lebanon: Professor Said Chehab, ALMEE Association
10. مصادر الطاقات المتجددة في سورية: الدكتور المهندس موسى شحادات، المهندس محمد سليمان
11. Climate change mitigation and potential role of the Renewable energy in Jordan: Mr. Sakher Batayneh, National Energy Research Center (NERC)
12. The Impacts of climate change mitigation in World: Dr. Ali Sinjlawi, Specialist in Environmental and Occupational health, Jordan
13. إستعمال الطاقة البديلة فى مصر: الدكتور طارق مصطفى السكرى محمد، أستاذ مساعد بالمركز القومى لبحوث الإسكان والبناء

Date: Jan. 25th, 2009
At the end of the workshop all of the above mentioned participants concluded the following suggestions and recommendations:

I- Recommendations to be forwarded to the concerned authorities in the four participated countries:

1- Activating Public Awareness campaigns (Radio, TV, newspapers, brochures, posters…) to warn people, public and private sectors of the risks resulted from climate change and their impacts on health, water, agriculture and the environment in general. In addition, warning them of the importance of utilizing renewable energies.
2- Enhancing the system of research and monitoring of the infectious diseases resulted from utilization of treated sewerage water.
3- Continuing the efforts of cooperation and coordination among the four participated countries and working on establishing a joint database for the latest researches and studies in the field of climate changes and renewable energies.
4- Forwarding an open message to the governments of the four countries in which a request is included to increase the interest in scientific research in the field of climate changes.
5- Request to the concerned authorities in each of the four countries to set clear decrees, laws and standards in the field of climate change and renewable energies.
6- Taking necessary procedures to protect the remaining agricultural lands and preventing desertification.
7- Selecting appropriate kinds of plants which can endure dry conditions and high temperatures and introduce new kinds instead.
8- Setting out practical and necessary plans for state’s lands forestation which are encountering desertification.
9- Concentrating on the importance of assessing environmental impacts.
10- Establishing monitoring networks to monitor the impacts of climate changes and setting out appropriate plans to face them.
11- Enhancing farmers awareness and securing technical and financial support which motivate them to apply the suitable agricultural cycles.
12- Encouraging the manufacturing of spare parts necessary for the renewable energy equipments.
13- Raising the effectiveness of the used equipments and its outcomes to the maximum and reducing industries to the minimum.
14- Expanding wind monitoring methods and making accurate evaluation studies where they can be persuasive to attract private sector and investors to contribute in this field.
15- Utilization of modern irrigation systems to minimize water consumption.
16- Adapting the scientific and practical methods for protecting the sustainable tourism in accordance with the above-mentioned items.

In order to achieve good results out of the above-mentioned recommendations, participants suggested performing a follow-up group consisted from participants from each country where they can be the core of the database and where they could be able to provide their colleagues with different information and studies related to climate changes and renewable energies.

II- Recommendations to be forwarded to JICA Offices:

1- Supporting the scientific researches and studies that target climate changes and renewable energy issues.
2- Assisting the establishment of database among Arab countries by dispatching JICA expert or senior volunteer.
3- Supporting the awareness programs (producing brochures, posters, pamphlets to introduce information on climate changes and renewable energies.)
4- Training personnel in the field of climate change indicators and renewable energies ( in Japan or TCTP).
5- Dispatching JOCV/ senior volunteer to train bigger number of staff in the related field.
6- Training experts from the four participated countries to develop Regional Climatic Model to monitor climate changes.

III- Follow-up group:
Five members from the four countries were selected to follow-up the above-mentioned recommendations with the concerned authorities in each country:

1- Dr. Tarek Mustafa El-Sakkary, Egypt
2- Dr. Mousa Al Shehadat, Syria
3- Dr. Ali Ghrayeb, Lebanon
4- Eng’r. Ali Sinjalawi, Jordan
5- Eng’r. Amin Al Okur, Jordan